Aluminium cleaning

How to Clean Aluminium

Has your favourite pan lost its shine and glamour? Or maybe your sink is looking worse for wear?

Whether it’s cookware, outdoor furniture, or kitchen sinks, maintaining the cleanliness and shine of aluminium is essential.

We’ll provide you with effective cleaning methods, specific tips for different types of aluminium, and expert advice for restoring their shine.

Get ready to discover the secrets to achieving sparkling results and preserving the natural beauty of your aluminium items. Let’s dive in!


Gentle Cleaning Solutions

When it comes to cleaning aluminium, a gentle approach is key to preserving its natural lustre and avoiding any potential damage.

Later in this article we will be providing you with some specific cleaning approaches depending on the type of aluminium you have.

Here are some effective general cleaning methods that can be applied to most aluminium surfaces.

Start by applying one of these (or multiple) mild cleaning agents to see if it cleans your aluminium item.

Bicarbonate of soda and water paste

Bicarbonate of soda

  1. Create a paste by mixing bicarbonate of soda and water until it forms a thick consistency.
  2. Apply the paste to the aluminium surface using a soft cloth or sponge.
  3. Gently rub the paste onto the surface, focusing on any areas with stains or grime.
  4. Allow the paste to sit for a few minutes to penetrate the dirt.
  5. Rinse the aluminium thoroughly with water and wipe it dry with a clean cloth.


Vinegar and water solution

vinegar for cleaning

  1. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray the solution onto the aluminium surface, ensuring even coverage.
  3. Let it sit for a few minutes to allow the vinegar’s acidic properties to break down dirt.
  4. Using a soft cloth or sponge, gently scrub the surface in circular motions.
  5. Rinse the aluminium with water and dry it thoroughly with a clean cloth.

It is also possible to buy commercial aluminium-specific cleaners, which will work just as effectively.

Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer, applying the cleaner to the surface as directed.


How to Clean Aluminium Pots and Pans

Stained metal pan

Our lovely, shiny cookware sees a lot of grease build up and burnt bits of food, which over time will start to diminish the appearance.

Remove burnt-on stains

Fill the aluminium pot or pan with water and add a few drops of washing up liquid.

Place the cookware on the stove and bring the water to a boil. Allow it to simmer for a few minutes to loosen the burnt-on stains.

Remove the cookware from heat and let it cool down.

Use a non-abrasive scrub brush or sponge to gently scrub away the loosened stains.

Rinse the cookware thoroughly with water and dry it completely.


Dealing with discolouration

For discoloured aluminium cookware, create a cleaning solution by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water.

Apply the solution to the discoloured areas using a cloth or sponge. Gently scrub the surface to lift the discolouration.

Wash the pots or pans with water and dry it thoroughly to restore its shine.


How to Clean Aluminium Outdoor Furniture

The various weather conditions take their toll on our outdoor furniture, which often results in our furniture looking old and worn. Follow these steps to restore their appearance and revitalise them.

Remove any cushions or fabric from the furniture.

Wipe down the aluminium frames with a soft cloth or sponge dampened with a mixture of mild washing up liquid and warm water. You can also use vinegar.

Pay special attention to any dirt or grime buildup, gently scrubbing as needed.

Rinse the furniture with water, ensuring all soap residue is removed.

Dry the furniture thoroughly using a clean cloth or allow it to air dry.


How to Clean Aluminium Kitchen Sinks

wiping kitchen sink

Keeping your kitchen and bathroom sinks clean is essential, especially when you have a beautiful, shiny aluminium sink.

The good news is that cleaning an aluminium sink is a simple task that requires just a few ingredients.

Follow the step-by-step process below to maintain its sparkling appearance and keep it free from dirt and grime.

Quick scrub with washing up liquid

If your aluminium sink is very dirty, start by giving it a quick scrub using a sponge and regular washing up liquid.

This will help remove the bulk of dirt and grime. Rinse the sink thoroughly and clean the sponge afterward. Skip this step if your sink is only mildly dirty.


Scrub with salt and lemon

Take a plate and pour some salt onto it. Cut a lemon in half and dip one half into the salt, ensuring the cut side is well covered.

Use this salted lemon to scrub the sink, applying gentle pressure. Continue scrubbing until the lemon juice runs out or it becomes too dirty.

If needed, use the other half of the lemon. The salt acts as a safe abrasive, while the lemon’s acidity helps restore the sink’s lustre.

For the drain, use an old toothbrush and dish detergent to scrub it clean.


Rinse and dry with paper towels

Thoroughly rinse the sink, making sure to wipe up any missed spots with a sponge. After rinsing, it’s important to prevent hard water stains by drying the sink.

Use paper towels to wipe the surface dry, revealing a clean and shiny aluminium sink.


Cleaning Specific Types of Aluminium

Brushed aluminium

Brushed aluminium surfaces have a textured appearance with fine lines or grain.

To clean brushed aluminium, use mild washing up liquid and warm water with a soft cloth or sponge. Gently scrub along the grain to avoid disrupting the brushed texture.

Rinse the surface thoroughly and dry it completely to prevent water spots or streaks. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrub brushes that can damage the brushed finish.


Cast aluminium

Cast aluminium is durable but prone to oxidation and tarnish. Start by removing loose dirt or debris with a soft cloth or brush.

Mix a solution of mild washing up liquid and warm water. Use a soft cloth or sponge to clean the cast aluminium, focusing on any stains or oxidation.

For added protection and shine restoration, apply a thin layer of car wax.


Hammered Aluminium

Hammered aluminium surfaces have a textured, dimpled appearance.

Clean hammered aluminium using mild washing up liquid and warm water with a soft cloth or sponge.

Gently clean in circular motions, avoiding excessive pressure that can flatten the texture. Rinse the surface thoroughly and dry it completely, ensuring no water remains in the textured crevices.


Oxidised aluminium

Oxidised aluminium develops a dull, greyish appearance due to exposure to air and moisture.

Remove loose dirt or debris with a soft cloth or brush. Create a paste by mixing cream of tartar and water.

Apply the paste to the oxidised areas and gently rub using a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse the surface thoroughly and dry it completely.

Consider using aluminium-specific cleaners or polishes to restore the shine and protect against future oxidation.


Tarnished aluminium

Tarnished aluminium surfaces have a discoloured or darkened appearance due to oxidation.

Create a cleaning solution by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water.

Apply the solution to the tarnished areas using a soft cloth or sponge. Gently scrub the surface, focusing on the tarnished spots.

Rinse thoroughly with water and dry it completely. For stubborn tarnish, you can use aluminium polishes or specialised tarnish removers.


Common Cleaning Challenges and Solutions

Stained metal pan base

Even with proper care, occasionally you may encounter challenges when cleaning aluminium. Here are some troubleshooting tips and answers to help you.

Persistent stains

If regular cleaning methods don’t remove stubborn stains, try creating a paste using bicarbonate of soda and lemon juice.

Apply the paste to the stained area, let it sit for a few minutes, and then gently scrub with a soft cloth or sponge. Rinse thoroughly and dry.


Oxidation and tarnish

To remove oxidation or tarnish, try using a mixture of vinegar and cream of tartar. Apply the mixture to the affected area, gently scrub, and rinse thoroughly.

Follow up with aluminium polish or a specialised tarnish remover if necessary.



Minor scratches on aluminium surfaces can often be buffed out using a soft cloth and a small amount of car wax or aluminium polish.

Apply the product to the scratched area and gently buff in circular motions until the scratch diminishes.


Restoring Your Aluminium’s True Shine

Over time, aluminium surfaces can lose their shine and develop a dull appearance due to oxidation, tarnish, or accumulated dirt.

However, with the right techniques, you can restore aluminium to its former glory.

Having cleaned and removed any oxidation or tarnish, your aluminium is ready to be polished.

Use a suitable aluminium polish or a specialised metal polish product.

Apply a small amount of the polish to a clean, soft cloth. Buff the aluminium surface using circular motions, exerting gentle pressure.

Continue polishing until you notice the shine returning to the aluminium.

Once you have polished the aluminium, wipe away any excess polish residue using a clean, dry cloth.

Inspect the surface for any missed spots or remaining dull areas.

If needed, repeat the polishing process until you achieve the desired shine.

Now that you’ve broken a sweat just to make it shine, it would seem a shame to let it go dull again in a few months.

To maintain the restored shine and protect the aluminium, you should consider applying a thin layer of car wax or a specialised aluminium sealer.

Follow the product instructions for proper application, ensuring an even coverage.

Allow the protective coating to dry and cure for maximum protection.


FAQs on Cleaning Aluminium

How do you clean anodised aluminium?

Anodised aluminium requires specific care. Use mild washing up liquid and water with a soft cloth or sponge to clean anodised surfaces. Avoid abrasive cleaners or tools that can damage the anodised coating.


How do you prevent water spots on aluminium surfaces?

After cleaning, thoroughly dry aluminium surfaces with a clean cloth to prevent water spots. For extra protection, you can apply a thin layer of automotive wax to create a water-repellent barrier.


How do you remove sticky residues from aluminium?

Remove sticky residues by applying a small amount of rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol to a soft cloth or sponge. Gently rub the affected area until the residue is lifted. Rinse and dry.


How often should you clean aluminium items?

The frequency of cleaning depends on usage and environmental factors.

As a general guideline, aim to clean aluminium items at least once every few months to maintain their appearance and prevent buildup.


Can you use a dishwasher to clean aluminium?

While some aluminium items are dishwasher-safe, others may be prone to damage or discolouration. It’s generally safer to hand wash aluminium items using gentle methods.


Regular Maintenance

We recommend you regularly clean your aluminium items to prevent a build-up of dirt or grease.

Avoid using abrasive cleaners, rough brushes, or harsh chemicals that can damage the aluminium surface.

Instead, use non-abrasive cloths or sponges for cleaning, and handle the aluminium with care to prevent scratches or dents.

Keep in mind that different types of aluminium may require specific restoration methods or products, so always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions or seek professional advice when needed.